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Rishi Sunak apologizes for leaving D-Day ceremony early to take part in interview

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologized on Friday for his early departure from D-Day celebrations in France the day before, as criticism mounted over his decision to return to the United Kingdom, where he is waging a election campaign.

“Following the conclusion of the British event in Normandy, I returned to the UK,” Sunak – who is struggling to win voter support ahead of the July 4 elections – said in an X post.

“In hindsight, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I apologize.”

World leaders including US President Joe Biden and Britain’s King Charles III gathered in Normandy in northern France to mark the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings, a turning point in World War II. Worldwide.

Sunak spoke at a British-led event but delegated other duties to ministers including Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who was pictured with Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a later memorial ceremony.

Reports say Sunak left France early to conduct a television interview with a British broadcaster.

Sunak’s Conservative Party is around 20 points behind the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls ahead of the national election.

Labor Party leader Keir Starmer also attended events in Normandy on Thursday, where he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“Yesterday’s D-Day celebrations were about remembering the bravery of all those who serve our country,” said Labor spokesman Jonathan Ashworth.

“By choosing to prioritize his own TV appearances over our veterans, Rishi Sunak has shown what is most important to him.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey accused the prime minister of a “total dereliction of duty”.

Sunak’s campaign got off to a shaky start last month when he announced the election date in torrential rain competing to be heard against Labor supporters singing the song associated with the party’s landslide 1997 election victory.

This week he suffered another setback when Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage took over as leader of the right-wing Reform UK party and said he would stand in the election.

An opinion poll published on Wednesday showed that support for Reform was just two percentage points below that of the Conservatives.

Source: CNN Brasil

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